Sausage, Onions and Peppers with marsala cream sauce

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All too often while juggling my regular job, the kids and updating this site, I lose track of time.  Yesterday was another one of those days.  My wife came home from work and I was typing away as if I had all the time in the world.  “What’s for dinner?” she asked.  “I’m going to sauté some sausage along with some bell pepper and onion and make some kind of sauce with it” I replied.  “Honey?” she asked in a somewhat austere voice, “Do you know what time it is?”  I quickly peered down to the corner of my computer to see 6:35 pm.  Uh oh.

“Should we just get a pizza?” she asked.  I knew it would take 30-40 minutes to get a pizza and I could easily have dinner done before that, so my response was “Nope, I’ve got everything here and I can pound it out pretty quick.”  So I stopped my typing, grabbed the sausage from the fridge, scooped up the onions, bell pepper and some garlic then ran across the kitchen to where we keep the liquor.  I wanted something with a little sweetness and dry Marsala seemed to fit the bill.  So I grabbed that and ran back in the kitchen to get some water boiling, grabbing my camera on the way.  “You’re going to take pictures?”  Before I could answer, she knew what my response was going to be and went off to change out of her work clothes.  So here’s a fast easy meal.  Enjoy!

I filled a pot with water, seasoned it with salt and got in on the stove to boil.  I roughly chopped 2 onions, 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper and thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves.

I added 1 tablespoon olive oil to a wide fry pan over medium high heat.  When it was hot I removed the casings from 3 hot Italian and 3 mild Italian sausages and added them to the pan in chunks.  I cooked them for about 10 minutes until browned and cooked through then removed them to a plate and poured off most of the fat from the pan.

I reduced the heat to medium and added the onions and garlic, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, along with 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning and cooked for about 5 minutes.  I then added the bell pepper and cooked for another 3 minutes before adding the sausage back to the pan.  By this time I had dropped my pasta in the water to cook and it was almost done.  I added 1/2 cup Marsala to the pan and let it reduce by 1/2.  I added 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup of the pasta water and turned the heat to medium high.  I let it reduce for another 3-4 minutes before adding 1/3 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons cold butter.  The whole thing cooked until the sauce thickened slightly about 3-4 minutes more.

And here’s the finished dish in less than 30 minutes.  “See honey?  Faster than a pizza.”  Enjoy!

Sausage, Onions and Peppers with marsala cream sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This 30 minute meal is perfect for weeknights when things get hectic and the sauce really sets it apart from others.
Recipe type: Entree, Main, Italian
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound pasta such as penne cooked
  • 6 links Italian sausage about 1¼ pound casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
  • ½ cup dry Marsala wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • kosher salt
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Heat your water for the pasta.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wide fry pan over medium high heat. Break the sausage into bite size chunks and add them to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes until browned and cooked through then remove to a plate. Drop your pasta to cook.
  3. Pour off most of the fat and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, garlic, Italian herb seasoning and crushed red pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook 3 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage back to the pan and add the Marsala then reduce by ½ about 3 minutes scraping the bottom of the pan. Drain your pasta reserving ¼ cup of the water. Toss the pasta with olive oil and the parmesan. Turn the heat to medium high and add the chicken stock and pasta water then cook for about 4 minutes to reduce. Stir in the cream and butter and cook another 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.



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